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Work Integrated Learning

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on November 7, 2007 at 7:43:46 am
The term Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is not in common use in the UK and most academics would see it as a educational jargon that holds no interest or relevance to them. For people who do know what it means its a troublesome term because it seems to privilege ‘work’ above other learning contexts.
WIL is concerned with higher education learning experiences that seek to combine and integrate to varying degrees - academic study, work, formal and informal learning and social interaction in institutional, work and perhaps virtual learning environments. The integration of learning in these different contexts is crucial to the achievement of the learning outcomes for a programme and the development of the learner and their identities. But the ways in which academic, work and other social/experiential contexts are combined, the levels of engagement and participation in work-relevant situations and the levels of integration and connectivity, are quite varied. This diversity makes it difficult to explain what WIL means in a simple way.

"Work Integrated Learning combines professional work experience with classroom studies in many forms to include: internships, study abroad, co-operative education, clinical rotations community service and student teaching" WACE. The ideals of WIL are to integrate learning in academic and work environments but there are great differences in the extent to which WIL is interpreted and implemented in both philosophical and curriculum design senses.


Some institutions e.g. Queensland University of Technology, see the idea of WIL (one which seeks to gain learning from both work/community and academic contexts) as sitting within a broader concept of a curriculum for real world learning: a view that is consistent with the University of Surrey's emergent ideas about learning for a complex world.



Please share examples of approaches to WIL



Links to institutions that take WIL seriously

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